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Frank Hovis

Rough pubs

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Nice bit of writing here for The County Oak in Brighton.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/15238299.Pub_Spy__This_place_is_not_for_the_faint_hearted_and_surely_the_worst_pub_in_Brighton/

 

The worst one anywhere near me is The Swordfish in Newlyn, which is the harbour end of Penzance.

This is because of its location as it's the nearest pub to the harbour so blokes coming off four cold wet days on a trawler dive in to drink themselves into a coma and ideally have a fight as well.  It's all down to timing as you could pop in there for a lunch time drink and think it was fine.  Featured in the Britain's roughest pubs on one of the Freeview channels.

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I remember the Navel and Military on East Reach in Taunton being like one of those cartoons with fighting men popping out of windows and flying out of the door on an ad hoc basis.

 

It was near an Indian takeaway called Uddins in the mid 90's and once made a poor decision to pop in for a pint whilst I waited for my curry.

 

I did not try that again.

Edited by Bkkandrew
Missing word

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3 minutes ago, spygirl said:

That sounds family friendly.

The northern roughnoubs tend to no longer be open as everythings been stolen and most people have stopped drinking and moved to narcotics now.

Makes sense, I've always wondered how the benefits crowd manage to spend their days in such places as the Brighton pub with lager at £4.20 a pint when Aldi and Lidl do very nice four packs of lager (a Pils and a Stella type) for £2.70; though avoid their cheaper one.

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4 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Makes sense, I've always wondered how the benefits crowd manage to spend their days in such places as the Brighton pub with lager at £4.20 a pint when Aldi and Lidl do very nice four packs of lager (a Pils and a Stella type) for £2.70; though avoid their cheaper one.

They eiyher font pay for it - let the pubco go bust.

Or they takke cheap or nicked stuff in.

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Weirdly, one of the roughest pubs I remember was in a wanky town in the Cotswolds. The pubs there served a purpose and thus attracted the matching clientele. There were the poncy gastropubs, the lads 'n' lasses pubs and then there were the ones that catered for the 'born 'n' bred, strong in the arm, fucked in the head' types.

There were only one or two of these but you'd have trouble if you walked in at the wrong time. It still holds the record for the most punch ups I've seen in a night (9).

Honourable mentions to a pub in rural Devon where a squadron of old boys at the bar greeted our arrival with, 'ooh arr, looket here, it's the fuckin' Backstreet Boys'. We left them to it, the cider-addled twats. Also a large bar in Braintree, Essex where there must have been 200 people in the place and every single one of them stopped and stared at us when we walked in the door and all the way to the bar, parting before us like we were being led to the gallows. It was properly unnerving...and weird.

I could go on about some dog-rough Aussie pubs too, the ones where you walk in and it's like a fucking ZZ Top convention. You're lucky if you escape those with your head and/or arse intact. 

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Some of my favourite locals on Leith walk in Edinburgh are pretty tough. Shame many are now turning into wank zones. This was my local few years back. Now sadly some gastro craft beer type place. It does live music though so at least that's an improvement.

I remember a karaoke night once. In fact i think it was in the afternoon. Family wheeled an old dear in. Must have been 90. Sang Nancy Sinatra in her wheelchair. Then wheeled out the door. Class. 

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/edinburgh-s-worst-pub-meridian-bar-told-to-close-1-3164535

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Just now, ccc said:

Some of my favourite locals on Leith walk in Edinburgh are pretty tough. Shame many are now turning into wank zones. This was my local few years back. Now sadly some gastro craft beer type place. It does live music though so at least that's an improvement.

I remember a karaoke night once. In fact i think it was in the afternoon. Family wheeled an old dear in. Must have been 90. Sang Nancy Sinatra in her wheelchair. Then wheeled out the door. Class. 

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/edinburgh-s-worst-pub-meridian-bar-told-to-close-1-3164535

You can reminese over the fork crushed potatoes and the hand reared organic sausages....

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Been made to feel very unwelcome in various Scottish pubs, over the years, presumably from being English. Went in one in a port, Avonmouth I think, in the early eighties and it was reminiscent of the Star Wars Cantina. 

They did add a bit if character, I suppose, it was alright when it was fisticuffs but it started to become knifings.

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9 minutes ago, SNACR said:

Been made to feel very unwelcome in various Scottish pubs, over the years, presumably from being English. Went in one in a port, Avonmouth I think, in the early eighties and it was reminiscent of the Star Wars Cantina. 

They did add a bit if character, I suppose, it was alright when it was fisticuffs but it started to become knifings.

I've found Scottish pubs to be OK in the main.

There was one in Tarbert that we went into and a group of pissed fishermen obviously didn't like our faces. Mrs Hartman was oblivious to it and most put out when I told her to drink up rapid.

There was some verbal when we left from their camp but we (I) escaped without a kicking which is always a bonus.

Edited by Sgt Hartman
Spellink

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3 minutes ago, Sgt Hartman said:

I've found Scottish pubs to be OK in the main.

There was one in Tarbert that we went into and a group of pissed fishermen obviously didn't like our faces. Mrs Hartman was oblivious to it and most put out when I told her to drink up rapid.

There was some verbal when we left from their camp but we (I) escaped without a kicking which is always a bonus.

The most memorable was in depressing Aberdeen twin Fraserburgh and it wasn't just the punters that made it abundantly clear I wasn't welcome.

As a general rule with pubs if they let the punters bring their dogs in it's a bad sign. 

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3 minutes ago, SNACR said:

The most memorable was in depressing Aberdeen twin Fraserburgh and it wasn't just the punters that made it abundantly clear I wasn't welcome.

As a general rule with pubs if they let the punters bring their dogs in it's a bad sign. 

Fuck. That's just condemned every pub within 10 miles of me. 

Those middle aged twats with their toy dogs can kick off something rotten though. 

 

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The Colherne Arms in Brompton Road (now gone) could be hazardous for certain young men.

" In the 1970s it became a notorious leather bar, with blacked-out windows, attracting an international crowd including Freddie Mercury, Kenny Everett, Mike Procter, Rudolf Nureyev, Anthony Perkins, Rupert Everett, Ian McKellen and Derek Jarman. Leather men wearing chaps and leather jackets with key chains and colour-coded handkerchiefs formed the clientele.

[...]

The pub was infamous as the stalking ground for three separate serial killers from the 1970s to 1990s: Dennis Nilsen, Michael Lupo and Colin Ireland. Colin Ireland committed five murders in 1993, "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coleherne,_Earls_Court

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1 hour ago, SNACR said:

Been made to feel very unwelcome in various Scottish pubs, over the years, presumably from being English. Went in one in a port, Avonmouth I think, in the early eighties and it was reminiscent of the Star Wars Cantina. 

They did add a bit if character, I suppose, it was alright when it was fisticuffs but it started to become knifings.

Avonmouth is North from here, but it's not AFAIK in Scotland. I can drive there in 20 minutes.

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Rough pubs used to be ten a penny. Even genteel market towns in the posher parts of the UK could be relied on to contain a couple of examples. Now like pubs in general they are becoming a bit of a dying breed.

I have always wondered where the denizens of these places go when their favourite boozer shuts. Sometimes I imagine it must be like those wild life documentaries set in Africa during a drought where as the water pools dry out all the crocodiles end up concentrated in one particular lethal mud hole.

All truely rough shit hole pubs are dangerous at all opening times not just in the last hour before closing. These are the sort of places where you run into the sort off clientele who want to chat to you about their predilection for eating human flesh at 5.30pm on a Tuesday evening in February.

Edited by Flirtygirty

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9 minutes ago, the gardener said:

The Pegasus in Aldershot (long closed).

If you were not a Para (or ex-Para) you would be killed.

And yet you survived - despite being a gardener...?

Presumably you were often dropped behind enemy lawns...

;)

 

XYY

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I remember fondly walking into a bar in the next small market town along from mine with a friend, to be met by three locals bluntly telling us that the pub was full (it really wasn't - just them) at the same time they aggressively got up off their stools and I looked over to see the landlords complete indifference to the situation as he dried some glasses. We were about to (happily) about turn and make for a swift exit when a voice piped up in the background reassuring the aggressors we were ok as he recognised me (had some exhaust work done by him previously). We went from a very near beating to having 3 just add hot water instant 'friends' in a matter of seconds - quite bizarre really, still very awkward so we didn't stop long and the pub is now a middle (climber) class eatery. 

It was a two a penny pub that no one would have heard of so no point naming and shaming. 

Edited by longtomsilver

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The two scariest were one in Arbroath, where the good lady and I popped in whilst out on holiday to be met by a pub full of squadies who had just returned from 'Stan and were either beating the shit out of each other or larking about. Aside the initial "we are going to die" feeling it turned out to be a fun night with them as they kind of adopted us for the evening. The second was in a little village in the arse end of Eastern Europe where we were again holidaying and I told the Mrs + MIL that we should head in for a few pints and a buy some fags. When we got in there was no and I mean no furniture just a group of drunken hard drinking Roma who went completely quiet and stared at us, I swear you could have heard a pin drop and they, to a man, were working out how much ransom they could extract from us. We turned around and left sharpish.

The current nearest pub is pretty grim, when we first moved in I took my mum to show her the local shops and the barman (a human yeti) was outside holding back one of the regulars who was trying to kill another punter. A few weeks later we plucked up courage to go for a drink and the Mrs asked what wine they had, the reply was red or white. She chose white and a small airplane bottle was produced from the back of the fridge and the landlady eventually found a single uncracked dusty wine glass for her. We don't go there often as you can imagine.

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In the mid-70's I stopped off at a West London pub on the A4. EVERYTHING was bolted down. The tables to the concrete floor. The ashtrays to the tables. Probably the clientele as well.

In the 80's I went into a Kingston pub at luchtime. it was empty except for two men fighting, wrestling on the bar floor. After a few seconds I recognised one of them as the landlord. I was obviously not going to be served, so I left.

Also in the 80s I was in a Brighton pub when a fight broke out. Someone threw a bottle towards the bar, and it shattered on the wall behind the bar. The barmaid ducked as the bottle passed where her head had been. She didn't blink and just carried on pouring a pint without even looking up.

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In my experience there is often precious little correlation between a pubs appearance and the dangers that lie within. I used to quite like seedy back street boozers and drank in many over the years without seeing the slightest hint of trouble. There were others I knew by reputation or experience that were best avoided.  Normally these sort of 'stabbing' pubs were relatively easy to spot. The real peril occurred when drinking in those premises that were unpredictable because they attracted a lot of passing trade instead of regulars so you never really knew who was going to be propping up the bar. It is these pubs often located near bus or train stations where nasty things often happen to quite innocent people. 

Edited by Flirtygirty

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